The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

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During the Dust Bowl farmers were some of the most affected by The Great Depression and Dust Bowl and they had to abandon their home and go to states like California. In Grapes of Wrath, there were fliers that said there were jobs there hiring and offering a lot of money to the workers. The fliers made a lot of farmers move to places like California, so they could find work and acquire money. The Californians weren’t happy that the ‘Okies’ a nickname they used for the migrant workers. They weren’t thrilled because they were frightened that the ‘Okies’ would take all the jobs and they would be poor like them so they would try and convince the farmers to head back or leave.

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is a book based on all of this following the Joads. The Joads are a farming family that got kicked off their land because the bank couldn’t pay for them to live and work there anymore and the Joads had to move across the country to California and they run across many challenges along the way. The Joads, like many migrant families during the 1930s, relied on their automobile, the kindness of others and the strength of their families to survive.

Most families had to rely on automobiles to make it across the country. The Joads had to purchase a car to make it to California. Many of the cars that were used to get to California were bought at used car lots. The car salesmen would make the broken down cars look like they were in better condition than they were. The cars weren’t in the best condition so they wouldn’t work as well because of this. One example of this was when the Joads were on their way to California, and they were traveling with the Wilsons and the Wilsons car broke down and Tom and Al help repair the car. This is significant because it shows the car was made to look better than it was because it broke down within the first few weeks on the road and ma didn’t want to split up the family so they stayed put on the side of the road while Al and Tom repaired the car.

The Joads like many families were heading to California because they heard many job opportunities paid well for harvesting fruits like grapes. On their way, there were many places in California and on the way to California had little camps that you could stay during the night so you could rest and recharge. One of the places was a government camp.

The government camp was one of the places that the Joads stayed at while the Joads were at the camp there were many people who were kind to the Joads like when Tom wakes up the first morning he encounters Timothy and Wilkie Wallace who end up inviting him to join them for breakfast and they help him get a job at the ranch they work at that offers 25 cents an hour. This shows that people like Timothy and Wilkie Wallace are kind to the Joads specifically Tom which allows Tom to be able to bring home money to help pay for staying at the camp which is $1 a week and they chose to work off so it allows they to be able to afford the food they have at the store.

Many families had to rely on the strength of families to survive while on their trip away from home and the Joads were no different. While on the trip many families who were traveling became a family to each other it shows when the book says “twenty families became one family, the children were the children of all. The loss of home became one loss, and the golden time in the West was one dream” (Steinbeck).

This means everyone traveling was family to one another no family wants to endure this journey by themselves the family’s all need help and support from each other to finish and make it to their destination and while supporting each other they become a family. One example of this for the Joads was when the Joads met the Wilsons on the side of the road. They helped each other out when grandpa was sick and dying the Wilsons offered their tent to the Joads before he had passed. Sairy Wilson had noticed that grandpa wasn’t feeling well, so she offered their mattress and after he had passed away she had helped grandma through the tragedy by soothing her.

The Wilsons also let the family bury him in the quilt they had in the tent. After this tragic event the families make their way to California together but eventually they have to separate but this is still an example of how they used the strength of families survive because while the Wilsons had not been blood relatives they had become a family to the Joads while they traveled together and Sairy Wilson definitely helped grandma survive after grandpa had the stroke and passed away.

In conclusion, the Joads had a hasty journey on their way to California but with the help of automobiles, the kindness of others, and strength of family to survive to make it to their final destination. They had to trust many people like the car salesman who tricked people into buying cars that weren’t as good as they made them look to make money. They trusted and relied on kind people at a government camp that help Tom get a job to help the family. They trusted a kind family called the Wilsons who became a part of the family and helped them through some of the hard times when family members passed away.


Cite this paper

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. (2021, Aug 13). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-grapes-of-wrath-by-john-steinbeck/

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